By Keith Idec
The catastrophic typhoon that hit the central part of the Philippines on Friday is not expected to make Manny Pacquiao relocate toward the end of his training camp for a Nov. 23 pay-per-view fight against Brandon Rios.
Fred Sternburg — a spokesman for Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank Inc. — confirmed Thursday night that he had been in contact with members of Pacquiao’s camp Thursday. They told Sternburg that Pacquiao’s training camp in General Santos City is far south of where the typhoon hit his homeland hardest and that Pacquiao’s preparation hasn’t been affected.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, reportedly one of the strongest storms ever recorded, is obviously a distraction, however. As a congressman, the 34-year-old Pacquiao is a public servant in the Philippines and remains one of the country’s most popular people. According to cnn.com, an estimated 25 million citizens within a country of more than 98 million are in the path of an historic storm expected to cause massive damage.
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) decided to conduct his entire training camp in the Philippines for this bout because it’ll take place in nearby Macau, China. On a recent conference call, Pacquiao spoke proudly about how much more focused he has been while training exclusively at home.
The Filipino superstar usually conducts the beginning of his training camps in the Philippines, before moving camps to trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
Pacquiao is expected to leave his hometown of General Santos City, where he constructed a state-of-the-art boxing gym, for Macau next week.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.